First Semester Comes To A End
by Vincent MatulaDecember 6th, 2019 at 6:54AM December 6th, 2019 12:56PM
Just like that, the first semester of the 2019-2020 ECRHA has come to an end. As a result of some last minute scheduling changes, this recap will be different than the matchups I had alluded to in the weekend preview.
Two teams from Division 2 went undefeated in their final weekend of the semester. UMass came into Feasterville winning all four of their scheduled games taking down Penn State 11-6, beating Rowan 8-4, knocking off Robert Morris 5-4 and defeating West Chester 8-2. Trevor Shea lead the Minutemen with a phenomenal weekend that saw him capture 14 goals and 19 total points. Shea ends the semester second in D2 with 26 goals and 41 points on the season. UMass will head into the break as the top team in D2. RIT took home a win in their game against West Chester along with a comeback overtime victory over Penn State. Samuel Murray and Cody Zajaczkowski continue to be the driving force behind their club as one of the two had a point on all but two of the Tigers 11 goals on the weekend. Out of the 42 goals Rochester has scored this season, Murray or Zajaczkowski have recorded a point on all but ten. As a result, the duo have combined for producing over 75% of their goals this season. RIT concludes their first semester of play with a 6-3 record which is good enough for fourth place in the division.
After dropping their opening game to Robert Morris, Northeastern University won the remaining three games on their slate that featured West Chester, Penn State and Rowan. Like Shea, Northeastern’s Thomas Keith was just as dominant this weekend tallying 13 goals and seven assists for 20 points in four games. Keith sits as the top dog in D2 for all three of these major scoring categories with 27 goals, 22 assists and 49 points in just one semester. Teammate Jason Stitt also joined Keith with a 20 point weekend of his own (11G, 9A) and is in the top three of those major scoring categories as well. If you thought the numbers on Murray and Zajaczkowski were impressive, get ready for these. The Huskies have the most goals scored in D2 this season with 78 and either Keith or Stitt have a point on 71 of them. That’s over 90% of their goals in which one of these two have recorded a point. Their team is second place in D2 with a 8-3 record after 11 games played. Northeastern’s lone loss of the weekend came at the hands of Robert Morris University. The Colonials also beat Rowan in the process with their only loss being against UMass. A total of three different Colonials have 20 points or more so far this season. Rookie Jack Clendaniel is leading the way with 24 points as brothers Cameron and Jesse Zahn are right behind him. Bobby Mo ends the semester with a 7-2 record which is third best in D2.
The remaining three teams from D2 failed to end their first semester of play on a high note. Despite three losses, Penn State was able to grab a point in an overtime loss to RIT which the Nittany Lions had a 3-0 lead after the first period. Before that, the club fell to UMass and concluded the weekend with a loss to Northeastern. Jett Tom and Connor Baer are tied as the two leading scorers for Penn State after their first nine games. The Nittany Lions end their first semester with a 2-6-1 record that has them in sixth place. After defeating Penn State back in Export, West Chester University was looking to build upon this in Feasterville. For them, three losses to RIT, Northeastern and UMass was not ideal. Things won’t get better for the Golden Rams as they’ll lose Owen Deardorff for a game in Sewell, NJ due to a game disqualification penalty taken over the weekend. On the positive side of things, Nick Foster leads West Chester in scoring and is also tied for the divisional lead in power play goals with five. His Golden Rams squad concludes their first semester with a 3-7 record that puts them in fifth place. Rowan University was still winless going into the weekend and hoping to gain some traction in the standings. Despite losing by four to UMass and Robert Morris, the Profs fell to Northeastern by a decent amount. Rookie Justin Favaloro continues to shine as Rowan’s main man with 14 goals and 21 total points. Favaloro has points on all but eight of Rowan’s 29 goals on their winless season. The Profs will head into their break as the last place team in D2 with the most goals allowed at 91.
Division 3 was the busiest this past weekend with 12 clubs wrapping up their first semester of play. With two games on their slate, Neumann University took full advantage of an opportunity to take first place heading into the break. The Knights grabbed a 8-3 victory over Cortland and defeated Oswego by a 5-2 count. Four players on Neumann are averaging over three points per game with their top scorer being Michael Strofe. His 28 assists and 50 points in just nine games is the best in all of D3. Strofe has doubled his assist total from last season and has surpassed his point total in the same amount of games played. The Knights have a perfect 9-0 record with 92 goals scored (most in D3) and first place going into the second semester.
Already coming off a weekend sweep from their games in Export, Temple University was not done with their winning ways. The Owls grabbed wins against Cortland and Hofstra on Saturday while finishing the weekend with running clock victories over James Madison (non-conference) and St. Joseph’s. Through their first ten games, team captain Nicholas Grillo has 24 goals and 11 assists with six of his goals being scored on the power play. Those six power play goals are the most in all of D3. Goaltender Cody Baldwin has also been stellar this season leading D3 with a 1.60 goals against average (GAA), .901 save percentage (SPCT) and four shutouts. After losing out on the Goalie of the Year Award last season, Baldwin sure looks like he’s on a revenge tour. Temple sits in second place with a 9-1 record and the least goals allowed in the division with 16.
Joining Temple with an undefeated weekend of their own was Endicott College. The Gulls took down Drexel and Niagara (forfeit) along with James Madison and Hofstra in non-conference play. Seven of their eight conference victories this season have been by three goals or less while they had six of those last season. They also have less than half the amount of goals scored at the break this season (35) compared to last season (73). Their overall team production is down, but they are still able to close out games with solid defense and goaltending. Matt Kaski leads Endicott in scoring at the end of the first semester totaling 21 points. Reigning Goalie of the Year Stephen Richetelli is second in D3 spotting a 2.67 GAA and a .887 SPCT. This Gulls club is third place with an 8-1 record after their nine games played in the first semester. Yet another bird based club had a perfect weekend with Montclair State winning all three of their games against Oswego, James Madison (non-conference) and Hofstra. In each of these three games, Ty Pezzolla had at least four goals and totaled 17 points for the weekend. Pezzolla has scored five of the six game-winning goals for his team which puts him in a tie for the most in D3. Pezzolla also leads not just D3 of the ECRHA, but D3 of the entire NCRHA as well with 29 goals on the season. Sure enough, he leads the Red Hawks in scoring with 39 points as teammate David Dziezaweic is right behind him with 35. The new kids on the block are making their presence felt early on by going into the break with a 6-3 record and four game winning streak.
Thanks to two forfeits by Cornell and Vermont, Drexel University had just two games on their weekend schedule. The Dragons fell 7-1 in their only conference game to Endicott, but were able to bounce back and dominate against Lock Haven in non-conference action. With two more forfeits, it just so happens that four of Drexel’s seven wins this season have come by nature of forfeit. Maybe some teams are becoming afraid of just how comical they are on Twitter? Anyways, John Gattone leads the club in scoring with 20 points while the team ends this semester with a 7-3 record and a fifth place spot in the division. Trailing Drexel in the standings is Oswego who had a slate of four games during the weekend. The Lakers dropped their first two matches to Montclair and Neumann, but were able to respond with wins over Boston and Lock Haven. A 16 point weekend by Jack Tofallos has propelled him to be the leading scorer for his team heading into the break. Behind him are three other teammates with more than 20 points, including his brother Joe and rookie Anthony Angelo. Oswego is in sixth place with a 6-3 record through their first nine games of the season.
Riding a four-game win streak and just one loss coming into Feasterville, Cortland was in a position to do even more damage this weekend. Despite dropping their first two games to Temple and Neumann, the Red Dragons were able to salvage the weekend with a comeback victory over Yeshiva on Sunday. With 23 points in nine games, Kyle Jermyn has just about matched his point total from last season (25). However, Cortland is averaging 30 shots against in their eight conference games played this season. They’ll need to clean this up if they want to be legitimate playoff contenders in March and April. These Red Dragons have ended their first semester with a 5-3 record and an eight place position in the standings.
After a home weekend to forget, St. Joseph’s College was back in action last weekend. Their club received a forfeit win over Cornell and took home a non-conference victory in blowout fashion against Lock Haven. Although the Golden Eagles defeated Boston earlier this season, they lost to them in non-conference play and ended the weekend with a running clock loss to Temple. It’s all about the rookies for St. Joe’s as goaltender Timothy Dupuis leads D3 with 226 saves in ten games. On the offensive side, rookies Eric Miller and Michael Manzolillo are tied for the team lead in points (11). With 21 goals scored in their first nine conference games, they’ll need more contributions going into the second semester as the team is 4-4-1 and ninth place. Their rivals over at Hofstra University are right behind them in the standings and also could have had a better weekend in Feasterville. Hofstra’s only win was courtesy of a Niagara forfeit while they fell in their remaining three games to Temple, Montclair and Endicott (non-conference). Heading into the break, Collin Ewald leads the Pride in all three major scoring categories as his team spots a 4-5 record.
Yeshiva University came into Feasterville with a four-game losing streak hanging over their heads. They opened up their Sunday snapping this streak with a 5-3 win against Boston, but dropped the remaining two games on their schedule to Cortland and James Madison (non-conference). Five of their seven total losses this season have come within three goals or less. Could not winning some of those close games wind up hurting them as we get closer to Regionals? Regardless, David Soffer continues his successful campaign as he’s the leading scorer for his club. The Maccabees are at 3-6 going into the break and sit 10th place.
Both Lock Haven and Boston University recorded their first conference win of the season as a result of some forfeits on the weekend. Outside of that, it was a pretty uneventful weekend for Lock Haven as the Bald Eagles lost three non-conference games on Saturday to D4 UMass, Drexel and St. Joseph’s by eight goals or more. They concluded their weekend slate with a blowout loss to Oswego. Boston was able to take away more positives from the weekend with a defeat of St. Joseph’s in non-conference play after losing to them earlier this month. The Terriers finished up the weekend with losses to Oswego and Yeshiva. Lock Haven is 12th place at 1-6 while Boston is now 13th and maintains a record of 1-8. Cornell, Vermont and Niagara all forfeited the weekend and are now the bottom three clubs in a crowded D3.
Slippery Rock University’s Division 4 club has been nothing short of exceptional this season, but they did endure some closer matchups this past weekend. After beating up on Farmingdale Black and UMass, the Pride completed a perfect semester with a 2-1 win over Farmingdale Green and a 7-5 victory against Oswego. Seven players on Slippery Rock have ended the first semester with 15 points or more as Evan Gill leads the way. A total of 91 goals scored through the first semester puts the Pride well on track to surpass their 110 total goals scored from last season. Outside of two losses to Slippery Rock, Farmingdale Green won the remainder of their conference games this semester. In Feasterville, their wins came against Oswego, Northeastern and UMass. Joseph Salavec is the Green Rams top point scorer after the first semester and also leads D4 in power play goals (3). They’re in second place with a 7-2 record after one semester of play.
After suffering losses to Farmingdale Green and Slippery Rock, Oswego was able to go .500 on the weekend with two wins against Farmingdale Black and Northeastern. Rookie Francesco Distefano had a hat trick in both victories and put his goal total at 16 which is the second most in D4. Distefano trails only the aforementioned Gill for the top spot in goals and points in the division. The Lakers finish their opening semester at a 3-3 record and third place position. As for Farmingdale Black, they dropped their first two games of the weekend against Slippery Rock and Oswego, but were able to end the semester on a high note with a 3-2 win over Northeastern. Joe Dwyer has both game-winning goals for the Black Rams and leads his club with 11 points going into the break. He’s just about matched his point total from last season which was 12. His squad will continue to make a playoff push and improve their 2-7 record next semester.
Neither Northeastern or UMass were able to secure a win in their conference games over the weekend. The Huskies of Northeastern did get a forfeit win against D3 Niagara, but lost all four games that they took part in. Even though the Minutemen of Massachusetts did not grab a point, they were able to win all three non-conference games against D3 Vermont (forfeit), Northeastern and D3 Lock Haven. Their two losses on the weekend came against Slippery Rock and Farmingdale Green. Northeastern is sixth with a 1-5 record on the season while UMass goes into the second semester still in search of their first win at 0-4-2.